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Rebel Private Front And Rear Memoirs Of A Confederate Soldier

Author: William A. Fletcher
Publisher: Pickle Partners Publishing
ISBN: 1786251787
Size: 63.97 MB
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“The recent rediscovery of Rebel Private: Front and Rear, effectively lost for decades, marks an authentic publishing event in the literature of the Civil War. A rare insight into the conflict from the point of view of a Confederate army enlisted man, this compelling memoir has been hailed by historians as a classic and indispensible key to understanding the Southern perspective. Margaret Mitchell even described it as her single most valuable source of research for Gone With the Wind. “This stunning document is the work of a common foot soldier blessed with extraordinary perception and articulateness. After joining the famed Texas Brigade under Stonewall Jackson. Private William A. Fletcher saw action at Second Manassas, Fredericksburg, Gettysburg, Chancellorsville, and Chickamauga. He was wounded several times and escaped from a moving Union prison train before the South’s surrender. In 1907, he published this powerfully evocative account of his exploits, a volume of frank, detailed recollections that spares none of the horror, courage, or absurdity of war. But a fire destroyed all but a few copies before they could be distributed. One copy, however, did make its way to the Library of Congress, where it was eventually discovered. Today, this colorful work has become the voice of the Civil War front-line grunt, speaking to the modern reader with the intensity of personal experience and a vividness of detail that gives it a riveting you-are-there quality.”- Print ed. “Get this riveting book. Fletcher’s description of Gettysburg surpasses almost everything I’ve read anywhere about that battle, including—gasps!—Michael Shaara’s The Killer Angels.”—Jeff Guinn, Fort Worth Star-Telegram “Epitomizes unsung, unintentional greatness.... Readers find themselves in the trenches.... May become seminal reading for Civil War scholars and history buffs.” —St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Rebel Private Front And Rear

Author: William Andrew Fletcher
Publisher: University of Texas Press
ISBN: 0292740891
Size: 29.65 MB
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Rebel Private Front and Rear is a line soldier's account of the Civil War without heroics. Private Fletcher tells how at Gettysburg he was overcome by a "bad case of cowardly horror" when an order came on the third day to get ready to charge. "I tried to force manhood to the front, but fright would drive it back with a shudder," he confessed. The attack of jitters lasted about fifteen minutes, and then he fell asleep while awaiting the order to advance. But Fletcher could be brave to a fault. He was restless and venturesome and during the lulls between fighting would sometimes ask for permission to go on dangerous scouts into enemy territory. Once, just before Fredericksburg, he slipped out to a haystack in the no-man's-land near the Rappahannock so that he could watch the Yankees build a bridge. And in his last fight at Bentonville he risked his life on a rash and futile impulse to capture a whole squad of Federals. At Second Manassas, Fletcher was struck by a bullet that grazed his bowels and lodged in his hip. His detailed description of his subsequent sensations and experiences is one of the most interesting portions of his narrative. He begged the surgeons to operate, but when they started cutting he howled so profanely that they threatened to abandon him. His reply was: "It don't hurt as badly when I am cursing." Wounded again at Chickamauga, Fletcher was incapacitated for further infantry service and was transferred to Company E, Eighth Texas Cavalry, and served with Terry's Rangers until the end of the war. In north Georgia he participated in a number of thrilling skirmishes with mounted forces of Sherman's command, and in one of these encounters he lost his horse. A short time later, in a daring effort to capture a mount from the Yankees, he was taken prisoner. The story of the forming and execution of his plan to escape by jumping from a moving boxcar is full of suspense and excitement. Rebel Private also reveals Fletcher as something of a philosopher. The narrative is sprinkled with dissertations on unexpected subjects, such as God, justice, and war. He reflects on the rightness and the necessity of "foraging," in home as well as enemy territory, but he tells with evident relish how he and his "pard" of the occasion "pressed" whiskey, honey, and chickens. Fletcher set down his experiences some forty years after the close of the Civil War. His story is told with the artlessness of the natural raconteur. Though the style is unpolished, the memoir makes lively reading because of the author's eye for detail, his straightforward language, and his sense of humor. One of the most frequently cited narratives written by soldiers of Lee's army, it derives its value as a historical source mainly from Fletcher's honesty, his close observations, the richness and variety of his experiences, and the sharpness of his memory.

Berry Benson S Civil War Book

Author: Berry Benson
Publisher: University of Georgia Press
ISBN: 0820342254
Size: 57.67 MB
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Confederate scout and sharpshooter Berry Greenwood Benson witnessed the first shot fired on Fort Sumter, retreated with Lee's Army to its surrender at Appomattox Courthouse, and missed little of the action in between. This memoir of his service is a remarkable narrative, filled with the minutiae of the soldier's life and paced by a continual succession of battlefield anecdotes. Three main stories emerge from Benson's account: his reconnaissance exploits, his experiences in battle, and his escape from prison. Though not yet eighteen years old when he left his home in Augusta, Georgia, to join the army, Benson was soon singled out for the abilities that would serve him well as a scout. Not only was he a crack shot, a natural leader, and a fierce Southern partisan, but he had a kind of restless energy and curiosity, loved to take risks, and was an instant and infallible judge of human nature. His recollections of scouting take readers within arm's reach of Union trenches and encampments. Benson recalls that while eavesdropping he never failed to be shocked by the Yankees' foul language; he had never heard that kind of talk in a Confederate camp! Benson's descriptions of the many battles in which he fought--including Cold Harbor, The Seven Days, Manassas, Sharpsburg, Fredericksburg, Spotsylvania, and Petersburg--convey the desperation of a full frontal charge and the blind panic of a disorganized retreat. Yet in these accounts, Benson's own demeanor under fire is manifest in the coolly measured tone he employs. A natural writer, Benson captures the dark absurdities of war in such descriptions as those of hardened veterans delighting in the new shoes and other equipment they found on corpse-littered battlefields. His clothing often torn by bullets, Benson was also badly bruised a number of times by spent rounds. At one point, in May 1863, he was wounded seriously enough in the leg to be hospitalized, but he returned to the field before full recuperation. Benson was captured behind enemy lines in May 1864 while on a scouting mission for General Lee. Confined to Point Lookout Prison in Maryland, he escaped after only two days and swam the Potomac to get back into Virginia. Recaptured near Washington, D.C., he was briefly held in Old Capitol Prison, then sent to Elmira Prison in New York. There he joined a group of ten men who made the only successful tunnel escape in Elmira's history. After nearly six months in captivity or on the run, he rejoined his unit in Virginia. Even at Appomattox, Benson refused to surrender but stole off with his brother to North Carolina, where they planned to join General Johnston. Finding the roads choked with Union forces and surrendered Confederates, the brothers ultimately bore their unsurrendered rifles home to Augusta. Berry Benson first wrote his memoirs for his family and friends. Completed in 1878, they drew on his--and partially on his brother's--wartime diaries, as well as on letters that both brothers had written to family members during the war. The memoirs were first published in book form in 1962 but have long been unavailable. This edition, with a new foreword by the noted Civil War historian Herman Hattaway, will introduce this compelling story to a new generation of readers.

General A P Hill

Author: James I. Robertson, Jr.
Publisher: Vintage
ISBN: 0307755347
Size: 50.48 MB
Format: PDF, Docs
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A Confederate general who ranks with Lee, Jeb Stuart, and Stonewall Jackson but whose achievements have been unfairly neglected until now, finally receives his due in this invaluable biography by a noted historian of the Civil War. Drawing extensively on newly unearthed documents, this work provides a gripping battle-by-battle assessment of Hill's role in Antietam, Fredericksburg, Gettysburg, and other battles. 8 pages of photographs. From the Trade Paperback edition.

Company Aytch

Author: Samuel R. Watkins
Publisher: Penguin
ISBN: 9781101119297
Size: 21.94 MB
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Among the plethora of books about the Civil War, Company Aytch stands out for its uniquely personal view of the events as related by a most engaging writer—a man with Twain-like talents who served as a foot soldier for four long years in the Confederate army. Originally published in 1881 as a series of articles in the Columbia, Tennessee, Herald, Sam Watkins's account has long been recognized by historians as one of the most lively and witty accounts of the war. Parallels between this text and The Red Badge of Courage suggest that Stephen Crane was also among Private Watkins's readers. This edition of Company Aytch also contains six previously uncollected articles by Sam Watkins, plus other valuable supplementary materials, including a map and period illustrations, a glossary of technical and military terms, a chronology of events, a concise history of Watkins's regiment, a biographical directory of individuals mentioned in the narrative, and geographic and topical indexes. This new edition of a Civil War classic is bound to become the edition of choice for students, military buffs, and general readers alike. From the Trade Paperback edition.

Gettysburg

Author: Bruce Catton
Publisher: Vintage Books
ISBN: 0345806050
Size: 14.75 MB
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This classic work by Pulitzer Prize winner Bruce Catton, one of the great historians of the Civil War, takes an incisive look at the turning point of the war, when the great armies of the North and South came to Gettysburg in July 1863. Engaging and authoritative, Catton analyzes the course of events at Gettysburg, clarifying its causes and bringing to life the most famous battle ever fought on American soil. Paying full heed to the human tragedies that occurred, Gettysburg: The Final Fury gives an hour-by-hour account of the three-day battle, from the skirmish that began the engagement, to Pickett's ill-fated charge. Catton provides context for the fateful decisions made by each army's commanders, and examines the battle's military and political consequences, placing it within the larger narrative of the Civil War and American history.

Fighting For The Confederacy

Author: Gary W. Gallagher
Publisher: Univ of North Carolina Press
ISBN: 0807882348
Size: 76.87 MB
Format: PDF
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Originally published by UNC Press in 1989, Fighting for the Confederacy is one of the richest personal accounts in all of the vast literature on the Civil War. Alexander was involved in nearly all of the great battles of the East, from First Manassas through Appomattox, and his duties brought him into frequent contact with most of the high command of the Army of Northern Virginia, including Robert E. Lee, Stonewall Jackson, and James Longstreet. No other Civil War veteran of his stature matched Alexander's ability to discuss operations in penetrating detail-- this is especially true of his description of Gettysburg. His narrative is also remarkable for its utterly candid appraisals of leaders on both sides.

Miss Lizzie S War

Author: Rosemary Agonito
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield
ISBN: 0762785888
Size: 36.41 MB
Format: PDF, Kindle
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As the Civil War ground on, an underground Unionist movement flourished in the heart of the Confederacy, led by an unlikely leader. Elizabeth Van Lew, a wealthy and well connected member of Richmond’s elite, risked everything to help save the Union, skillfully directing this clandestine group and becoming General Ulysses S. Grant’s spy in Richmond. Surrounded by a cadre of “slaves” secretly freed and working with her at the risk of their lives--and hers--Lizzie becomes a pivotal character in the narrative that reveals the complexity and horror of war and the possibility of ultimate redemption. Based on an incredible true story, Lizzie's War revolves around a number of elements: the intrigue involved in Elizabeth’s double life, her scheme to plant a former slave as her spy in the Jefferson Davis home, her secret romance with a Union prisoner, the dangerous work and conspiracies entailed in running a spy network for the Federal Government in the Confederate capital, terrifying flights to freedom engineered by Elizabeth for escaped prisoners and slaves, and ongoing Confederate surveillance, investigations and arrests of Unionists.